Molecular Trefoil Knot from a Trimeric Circular Helicate

We report the two-step synthesis of a molecular trefoil knot in 90% overall yield through the self-assembly of a 12-component trimeric circular zinc helicate followed by ring closing metathesis of six pendant alkene chains. Both the trimeric circular helicate intermediate and the resulting trefoil knot were characterized by NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallography.